LA-based designer and art director Cathy Van Hoang had the novel idea of using sea urchin shells as upside down planters for air plants to create little aerial jellyfish. She sells them in her Etsy shop, PetitBeast. (via Steampunk Tendencies)
Japanese design office Nendo has created 9 different types of chocolate. While each are the same size, not a single piece from the Chocolatexture collection look alike. That’s because Oki Sato, who leads the Tokyo and Milan-based firm, rethought the concept of chocolate by focusing on texture. “There are many factors that determine a chocolate’s taste,” says Sato, referring to factors like the origin of cocoa, the percentage used, and the various different flavors. But by instead turning his attention to attributes like pointy, smooth and rough, the designer has created distinctive chocolates that all use identical ingredients but taste completely different due to the various textures.
Each of the 9 chocolates were inspired by an onomatopoeic word from the Japanese language that describes texture. The chocolates correspond with words like “toge toge” (sharp pointy tips), “sube sube” (smooth edges and corners) and “zara zara” (granular, like a file). Chocolatexture was created for the Maison & Objet trade fair currently taking place this week in Paris. 400 limited edition Chocolatexture sets were created and will be sold during the event in Paris at what’s being dubbed the “Chocolatexture lounge.” (syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)
Researchers at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics led by professor Chunlei Guo have developed a new type of hydrophobic surface that is so highly water repellant, it causes water droplets to bounce off like magic. Unlike earlier hydrophobic surfaces that rely on temporary (and slowly degrading) chemical coatings such as teflon, this new super-hydrophobic surface is created by etching microscopic structures into metal with the help of lasers. Potential applications include airplane wings that resist icing, a whole new type of rust proofing, or even a toilet that wouldn’t require water. Watch the video above to see the surface in action, and you can read Guo’s research paper here. (via Sploid)
Soundweaving is a recent project by Hungarian design student Zsanett Szirmay that turns patterns used in traditional folk embroidery into music by translating them into laser-cut punch cards fed through a custom music box. The project was partially inspired by actual paper cards used in some weaving looms to easily reproduce patterns for various textiles. Szirmay collaborated with musician and composer Bálint Tárkány-Kovács who helped with audio mapping and the development of each track. Soundweaving was on view as part of Vienna Design Week at MOME Laboratory through last week, and you can see much more over on Dezeen. I’ve had the video above playing in the background for the last 20 minutes or so, it’s surprisingly enjoyable, especially if you’re into Steve Reich or Philip Glass.
If you enjoyed John Edmark’s trippy 3D-printed zoetrope sculptures last week, you might also enjoy some of his kinetic sculptures that rely on excruciatingly precise laser-cut wood and internal mechanisms to create optical illusions and other unexpected behaviors. Edmark describes these as “instruments that amplify our awareness of the sometimes tenuous relationship between facts and perception.” Here are three of my favorites, but you can see many more on his Vimeo page.
Currently funding on Kickstarter, Fahz is a concept for a 3d-printed vase that contains multiple profiles of friends or family members embedded at different intervals around the surface of the vessel. The designers have plans to create vases containing up to 16 profiles, though I can’t quite imagine what that would look like. If you want your face in a vase, head over here. They hope to ship by Mother’s Day.
These 3d-printed zoetrope sculptures were designed by John Edmark, and they only animate when filmed under a strobe light or with the help of a camera with an extremely short shutter speed. He shares about the project:
These are 3-D printed sculptures designed to animate when spun under a strobe light. The placement of the appendages is determined by the same method nature uses in pinecones and sunflowers. The rotation speed is synchronized to the strobe so that one flash occurs every time the sculpture turns 137.5º—the golden angle. If you count the number of spirals on any of these sculptures you will find that they are always Fibonacci numbers.
For this video, rather than using a strobe, the camera was set to a very short shutter speed (1/4000 sec) in order to freeze the spinning sculpture.